Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Straight Talk

I hope you're sitting down.  If you're not, you may want to, for I have a serious topic to discuss.  It has been brought to my attention that some of my recent actions concerning my ministry, along with some of my recent devotions, have displayed a lack of faith in God and have revealed a spiritual battle going on in my life.  I do not deny that I have had a heavy burden on my heart for some time, and I do not apologize if my devotions gave evidence to that.  I stand behind my posts and feel that they were Spirit-led.  I am not ashamed to admit that I am human and that I struggle just like everyone else.  Like Paul declared, I count not myself to have apprehended.  I have not arrived as some form of a spiritual giant.  I'm a real person with real problems, and in that, I hope that others can relate to what I have to say.

All that being said, I now realize that, because of disappointments in my life, I have had a limited view of God and what He's willing and able to do in my life.  And if that thought process has come across in my writing, I genuinely apologize.  If my lack of faith has hindered this ministry in any way, I humbly ask for your forgiveness, and I assure you that, with God's help, that ends now--beginning with this post.

One of the things that my readers tell me that they like most about my writing is that I'm honest.  I'm bold enough to speak the truth in love and say the things that need to be said.  But in the area of my heavy heart and my burden for this ministry, I have been timid, bashful and almost embarrassed.  No more.  I'm about to lay it all on the line, and I hope you will take this message as it is intended.

For more than ten years, I have poured my heart into this full-time ministry which brings in less than $100/month in any form of income.  During that time, my husband has worked his tail off to not only pay our bills and put food on the table but also to support my calling.  It has cost him dearly, but he has been faithful to the call.  However, the Lord has impressed on me that it is time for this ministry to grow, and without additional income, it simply isn't going to happen.  That's not doubt; it's fact.  To take this ministry any further will require additional funds.  I have reached the limit of what I can do with "free" options.  That's where you come in and where my leap of faith begins, but first, let me explain why this is awkward for me.

1) I despise confrontations of any sort.
2) I don't like to ask for help, especially when it involves money.
3) I fear that my request for donations will seem like a lack of faith in God's ability to provide.
4) When it comes down to it, I don't feel like I'm worthy of your money.
5) I don't want to come across as pushy or greedy.

Okay, now you see where I'm coming from, but just like God responded to Moses when he offered excuses, God has responded to me with some facts.

1) This ministry is of God and serves to further His kingdom.
2) Working another job while doing the ministry on the side is not an option. (Trust me, I've tried.)
3) I have no doubt that God provided the donation opportunity through Patreon and that He wants me to use that money to grow this ministry.
4) If this ministry is not supported financially, it may cease to exist.
5) God uses His people to provide for His ministries.

For just a moment, I want to look at Exodus 25:1-2, And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering.  God had already parted the Red Sea, rained down manna and quail, made bitter waters sweet, brought water from a rock and so much more.  Now, when it came time to build a building, He didn't just speak it into existence.  He told Moses to command the people to build it, and more than that, He commanded the people to give towards the expense.  You probably know what happened next, but just in case, let's skip over to Exodus 36:5-7, And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the Lord commanded to make. And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing. For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.

These were the same people that God repeatedly referred to as "stiffnecked people."  They were stubborn, disobedient, ungrateful and often selfish, but on this occasion, God told them to give, and they did.  So much so that Moses had to command them to stop.  It was too much!  Could it be that this was the first and last time that God's people gave too much toward His cause?  I certainly hope not.

In faith and boldness, I declare to you what God said to Moses, Of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. If this ministry is to grow, then it needs your financial support.  I'm not trying to give anyone a guilt trip.  Neither am I saying that everyone needs to sign up to give $20 a month (because I won't limit you like that).  What I'm saying is that God's people need to support His work, and when they fail to do so, the work ceases.  That's why churches are closing their doors.  That's why missionaries are leaving the fields.  God has issued a call, and it's up to you what you do with it.

As for me, I'm going to start acting in faith that God will provide.  I choose to believe that God will bring in enough support for this ministry that all the needs will be met and then some.  But these are not just words; I'm putting that faith in action.  Starting this week, Lord willing, I am upgrading to the paid newsletter service so that I can resume posting every weekday instead of only four days a week. As of right now, I plan for the Wednesday posts to be one of two types of short videos:  Meditative Moments where I explore encouraging Bible passages and Ponder That where I bring to light some of the things in the Bible that make us go "Huh?"  I am excited about these additions and have been contemplating them for some time.  As for the Song of the Day, I am hoping to return to the previous format, but that change may take place next week as I am swamped right now getting ready for a book launch.

So, to sum it up, God has spoken, and I am stepping out in faith.  I pray you will do the same.  The time for tiptoeing around the issue has come to an end, and it's time to act.  If you are not financially able to support this ministry, please consider supporting me in prayer.  As I'm sure you've figured out by now, I could use it!

I love you all and thank you for your support through the years.  I pray that God will speak to your hearts through this post and that, with your help, this ministry can expand to reach more souls for Christ and encourage those who have lost all hope for a better tomorrow.  We can make a difference. . .if we'll only obey God's leading!

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